Kymberly: What if you wanted to age as actively as possible, but had to curtail your activities because of …. well for a myriad of reasons. For instance, both Alexandra and I have knee arthritis that affects our workout and recreation choices. Many women over 50 have chronic pain or medical issues that curtail their ability to live life to the extent they desire. Odds are you are in that group. And urinary incontinence is another condition that may cause you to discontinue or never take up certain activities. Nothing like fear of leakage and embarrassment to affect confidence and freedom, right?
If my knees suddenly were arthritis-free, I’d play soccer again, run with my dogs, and add plyometric moves back to my step class choreography. Also, I’d be ready to train hard when Dancing With the Stars calls to have my twin sis and me be part of their next season. (Who agrees that a sibling theme would be great? Venus and Serena, the Olsen twins, the Property Brothers, us!) And if Alexandra didn’t have to worry about bladder leakage, she’d probably wear white tights. Maybe not. She likes colorful workout gear. And she’s hard to embarrass. Still, you get my point.
Yes, my main point is to wonder: What would you take up if you did not have to worry about urinary incontinence? Would you laugh more? Pick up a new sport? Restart a workout you once loved but gave up because of bladder leakage? Have you stopped an activity because it made you pee your pants? What if you could stop leaks before they happen? Would that make a difference in your midlife happily ever after?Has fear of embarrassment caused you to stop or never start a workout or exercise program? Click To Tweet
Disclosure Moment: This post is sponsored by Poise Impressa’s sizing kit
Alexandra: When we were asked to collaborate with Poise Impressa to learn and share about the sizing kit, I jumped (metaphorically only, for obvious reasons) at the chance, because I teach exercise and hike a lot and do NOT like having to worry about peeing my workout capris. Curse those big-headed boys I gave birth to for saddling me with a loose saddle. Mainly I was curious as to what exactly a sizing kit is.
On the way home from a trip to Carmel, I stopped at the Walmart in Arroyo Grande to get the kit. Ta da – right there in the “incontinence” section. Are you ever tempted to buy extra stuff just to cover up the embarrassing stuff in your shopping basket, or is that just me? In the end, I kind of thought, “What the heck. The only people who will stare at me are either women my age who understand, or young people who will find out one day.” I stopped to take selfies instead.When you laugh, jump, exercise, sneeze or jump do you pee your pants? #triedimpressa @Walmart Click To Tweet
I’ve now satisfied my curiosity. Right on the box it has a helpful chart (I almost said “flow chart.” Dang, so punny) – If you leak when you laugh, cough, sneeze, dance or exercise – Stress Urinary Incontinence – these bladder supports (’cause that’s what they are) should be right for you. If you have a sudden need to pee – Urge Urinary Incontinence – then these are NOT for you. The purpose of the kit is to help you figure out the right size before buying a whole package (which you can see costs $11.97). Essentially, it’s like a tampon. Start with size 1. If you still have drips and dabs, try size 2, then size 3 if necessary.
Look, it may be an embarrassing topic, but as someone teaching in front of hundreds of students every week, it’s less embarrassing to talk about the need for the bladder supports than it is to try and surreptitiously check my backside in the mirror every time I do a jumping jack or Burpee. Come to think of it, why the heck am I teaching Burpees? Burpees are very disrespectful, according to the lady in this hysterical video that you MUST watch.
I think I’ll go now and teach a nice, relaxing supine core move. Be impressed. And Impressa-ed.
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Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
In 1973, my mom took 4 of her 5 kids (all teens) backpacking through Europe. Before we left California, she explained that we were ambassadors from our culture/ country and that all many people might ever know of California was what they learned from us and television shows. I still remember her rules:
* No badmouthing the U.S., as it was many people’s dream to come here, and it would be disrespectful to their dream
* No gum chewing
* No cursing
* Learn a few words in the language of each country we visited, including “please” and “thank you”
* Smile and be polite
* Try new foods, especially if the chef brings something to you
* No using the words “weird,” “ugly,” or “icky.” Instead say that something is “interesting” or “unique.”
* No littering
* Observe how the locals do things and take our cues from them (i.e., using utensils for pizza)
* Ask questions. People love to share their stories
* Remember that we are guests in someone else’s “house”
This advice came in handy when a chef took a shine to our mom and brought us a full plate of cheeses to try for dessert. Mostly we smiled, then dashed to the bathroom to spit it out, as we were not fans of strong French cheese.
It also was helpful preparation for the many questions we got from Europeans about life in southern California. Because of the influence of U.S. television shows such as Green Acres, Happy Days, and the Mary Tyler Moore Show, lots of people thought we all ate steak for breakfast. They also assumed we were all related to movie stars, or at least had access, especially when they discovered we hailed from a beach town in L.A. County.
Instead of coming across as self-indulgent So. Cal. teens (we weren’t), we were commended on our travel manners and treated especially well, even in Paris, which wasn’t a particularly friendly city back in the 70s! I won’t mention the escapade where my brother somehow turned off the lights in St. Peter’s. Nor will I bring up the rum birthday cake that we were forced to endure in Rome on our 15th birthday, after thinking we had asked for chocolate. We ditched it on the train.
Not only was my mom right, her advice has stuck with me as relevant to many situations. In my profession as a writer, public speaker, and counselor, I’ve been aware of the impact and importance of words since that time. I’ve also travelled to quite a few countries, and learned a few languages besides my own. Then there was that undergrad degree I got in British Medieval Studies. I believe these choices were based mainly on my experiences during that trip.
Whenever I feel like I have less than I need, I just remind myself that I’m better off than most people in the world. Travelling is a great way to get “outside myself” and appreciate even more how lucky I am to have been born and raised in the U.S.
Hmmm, maybe I won’t mention the Dutch campground we stayed at that was mostly young people having hallucinogenic drug experiences. Remember, this was the early 70s. We were transfixed by the Woodstock feel to the place, but I imagine our mom couldn’t wait to move on to the next city!
And a special shout-out to our mom – she just took Kymberly and me on a 3 week trip to Thailand!
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your travels, whether abroad or to a dissimilar county?
This post is just one of many Boomer-oriented posts on the topic “Transformative Travel” over at Generation Fabulous. We invite you to visit the other posts in the series.
Photo credit: Fodor’s Pinterest board
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Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
The Anytime Fitness photo contest is only a couple of days from ending, and we want to Win the grand prize of a trip to anywhere Anytime has a club (that includes Poland and Australia)! Kind of like Charlie Sheen and his famous tweet: “Born Ready. Winning.” Except he’s the bad boy of television, and we’re the good twins of fitness! And we aren’t warlocks like Charlie either, so the only way we can win the trip to the Anytime Fitness location of our choice (they are found in 12 countries) is if you vote for us. Creativity helps too, so we sure do hope our photo is Cre.A.Tive!
The voting deadline ends on 21 December, so please head over to Anytime Fitness and click on the link to give us your vote. We are the Running Twins on the Ball. We appreciate every vote! Did we mention that we want to win the trip?
Has the DoubleMint jingle been haunting you since the beginning of the post? We then dedicate this YouTube video to you:
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By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Alert: Off topic, digression blog post from me, Kymberly, with a dream you can help me fulfill.
If you’ve been following our blog or attending the group fitness classes I teach, you cannot have escaped that I am a dedicated DWTS fan-a-fit-tic! Not only that, but I am a boom chicka boomer with a dream. I want twinnie personage and me to be the first “celebrity” twins to compete at the ‘big dance.” And, yes, we each want our own pro dance partner. Everyone asks us how we would “share” one pro. We wouldn’t! Alexandra gets Louis as they can speak Dutch with each other. And I get …. well, you have to tweet DWTS at @DancingABC to get them to bring us on, then you can find out who my partner pick is. Hint – I want someone who is strong enough to lift and twirl me about.
Now that Louis and Sabrina have been eliminated, where can you find him? For starters, with us! Take a look at our exclusive video interview.
Yes, we were the only people who got to record an interview with Louis at the IDEA World Convention. We ask him about his emerging ballroom dance-based fitness program, LaBlast. For more on LaBlast and the 5 levels Louis designed so we all can enjoy salsa, disco, mambo, jive, foxtrot, and more ballroom moves while exercising, do peek at this post.
Where do I hope you soon find Alexandra and me? On Dancing With the Stars, Season NEXT ONE. The key aspect to focus on now is that we are two Kevin Bacon degrees away from having my dream come true. The show needs a baby boomer or two. Ok, exactly two. Us. And we have as much celeb status as many past competitors (ask us one day about our stints in Europe as famous fitness pros. We learned afterwards to wish for Fortune and Fame, not just Fame. What were we thinking??!!).
This is the part where you come in. Help me realize my DREAM by tweeting @DancingABC tweet your followers using the hashtag #DWTS with subtle hints such as “#DWTS Get boomchickaboomer celeb identical twins @KymberlyFunFit & @AlexandraFunFit on next season!” Like Louis’ Facebook page and drop him a line, now that he and Sabrina have been curtailed all too soon. Tell all your online friends to tweet, post, email, share. DWTS needs a way to top this season, and what could be better than a twin-off?
Silver mirror ball, I see you shining down on me.
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Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Kymberly: If you listen to our Fun and Fit radio show you’ll know that Alexandra tends to bust out in song now and then. And I am using the word “song” loosely and the word “bust” pretty exactly.
Anyhoooo, it got us to thinking, if you were to pick a song that is autobiographical, which one would it be? For example, if you are a procrastinator, you might go with “Wait Until Tomorrow,” by Jimi Hendrix. (We’d also suggest you read our post on moving from procrastination to action.) If you are a get it done now person who enjoys exercise, your song might be “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday, But Not as Much as Tomorrow,” by Spiral Staircase.
Perhaps Maria from West Side Story is singing your tune when she tells the world “I Feel Pretty.” Or maybe she just finished a QiDANCE cardio class. If you love weight training, it could be people marvel and say “She’s a Brick House.”
One of our favorite votes came from a man in our Senior Strength Training class who answered this question with “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” Once the class stopped laughing we got back on beat and showed the world that 70 year olds “Get Around, Get Around, I Get Around,” like the Beach Boys.
My autobio song depends on what exercise mode I am tackling. On strength training days or when my knee is hurting, I am going with: “Oooh Child, Things Are Going to Get Easier,” by the Five Stairsteps. On the days I teach, power walk, or take any cardio class, my theme song is from Gladys Knight and the Pips: “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Go me for getting my workout in! The fact that Gladys was just on Dancing With the Stars and that I want Alexandra and me to be the first twins on the show might be swaying my decision. In the right direction!
I didn’t even have to think twice – my song is “Shake Your Groove Thing.” I like to dance, have fun and love music from the 70s. I can be Peaches. Now I just need a volunteer to be Herb. I could probably find hundreds of songs, depending on which freeway entrance my mind takes, but another song that captures my general life attitude is “Life Is Good” by Junk, especially the intro phrase, “I know I can always win, I can do anything.” Isn’t that a great attitude toward life and health?
Readers: Any songs come to mind that capture your fitness life? Sing it loud in the comments below!
by Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Alexandra and I just finished attending and presenting at the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference that took place at the deeevine, high tech, and new Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, just outside Denver. CO (yes, I liked it so much I wanted to go back to grad school just to take advantage of all the Anschutz Center offers).
Prior to taking off we were offered two of 20 spots on a bonus pre-conference tour put on by Goodness Knows Snack Squares and Zephyr Adventures. Fun fact #1 – I am SO glad I went on the excursion, which was beautiful, amazing, well-organized, and a great chance to take advantage of the beauty the area offers. Not so Fun Fact #2 – I SUCKED at this hike. As in sucked air. Big, wheezy, gaspy time. Yes, I was “THAT PERSON” at the tail end of the group who had to stop every 5 minutes to “enjoy the view,” “check my Omron Heart Rate Monitor,” “get my water bottle out of my backpack,” “retie my trail shoes.” (THANK YOU Overland Equipment and Vasque Velocity for the super comfy backpack and trail shoes. At least I looked like a pro hiker and my feet felt great!)
1) I just flew in from sea level living to mile high altitude climbing. No wonder I felt my heart imitating the alien explosion birth in Alien. Pretty sure I did not look as good as Sigourney Weaver though. The fact that
stoopidhead Alexandra whisked her little way up at the head of the pack was not taking this excuse away from me. Gasp Gasp Sweat pouring down back of my knees, face, underarms. Oh wait, she drove from Santa Barbara to Boulder so had time to acclimate. Excuse still intact and usable! And I was ahead of the 25 year old from New Jersey and 40 year old from Boulder. The three of us were making the front pack possible!
2) I have had 2 knee surgeries after all. Ok, so my knees did not actually hurt on the climb up since I have strong lower body muscles and powered each step through my glutes. Still, past surgeries and injuries are something to think about when contemplating a path straight up. I might think better if I sit down for just a panting moment.
3) It was HOT! Yes, I flew in just in time for record heat in Denver. Don’t even start with that whole “it was just as hot for everyone else who was ahead of you, prancing, frolicking, and talking while climbing.” Heat makes me cranky so back off and let me enjoy the exercise, scenery, new experience, and rest stops.
Honestly, I thought I would ace this hike with lipstick and reputation intact given that I teach fitness 5 days a week and power walk almost every day. And I am happy to report that while my heart rate shot up to 158 while climbing, it dropped to 115 within a minute so my recovery rate was good.
What I learned from this potentially humbling experience:
As for the yoga class awaiting us back at the bottom of the mountain? I managed 5 minutes following the darling teachers’ well-cued Down Dogs, then took full advantage of the Corpse pose for the rest of class. Namaste ZZZzzzzz
Disclaimer: We were not asked to write about any of the above companies or products. However, we did receive the excursion free as well as the Overland backpack, Vasque trail shoes, and even a water bottle and yoga mat from Goodness Knows. All opinions are my own.
Actions you can take right now without any sweat or mussy hair. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to our blog. Follow us on twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit Heck also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
We were once asked (really? just once?) if we were aware our jokes are corny. And prior to an interview the other day we were sent this potential interview question: “Your writing style is quite casual and humorous. Do you feel this unique approach resonates with your readers? Are you ever concerned it could affect your credibility?”
My answers are “sort of”, “maybe” and “it depends”. Growing up as a red-headed, freckled, smart, four-eyes (this term I’ve never quite understood – how can my glasses have eyes?), nail-biting, socially unconfident, flat-chested twin (am I missing anything here?), it didn’t take me past the first nap of kindergarten to realize that humor was the only thing that could save me (and getting cleavage and contact lenses as a teen). Since research has shown that humor can help with:
I figure I’m okay with corny, since it makes us all cohesive, and that’s the sticky tape that holds us all together.
As to the casual, credibility question, I guess I think you don’t have to be serious to be taken seriously. After more than 25 years as fitness writers, speakers, presenters, teachers, mentors and even award-winners, we hope people will see value in what we write. Even if that doesn’t happen, we still made you healthier if you laughed at stuff like this:
Yeah, I’m a Healthy Hottie! I’m going to live a long time. I’ve already achieved my dream – embarrassing the heck out of my teens just by existing (and talking about my 80s and 90s workout wear). And while I’m living longer, it will be with less stress, more relaxation, zapped up dopamine and endorphins, and less pain.
Okay, did any of you ever see the movie “The In-Laws” with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk? The year that movie came out I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. When I was coming out of the anesthesia, I got off my recovery bed, wandered into the operating room, asked where the party was, then went outside and tried to re-enact the “serpentine” maneuver. It’s here for your reference:
I believe I was captured and returned to the recovery room by my mom, who laughed her ass off. Was it a humorous outlook that made my brain override the pain of the surgery? What else could it have been, hmm?
For the record, I was wearing regular clothes, not an open gown. That was probably best, since my re-enactment was in a public parking lot. Also for the record, my #1 favorite topic is Clive Owen. Or Colin Firth. Or my kids. Depends on a variety of hormonal factors; theirs and mine!
Humor also has cognitive and emotional benefits, which I interpret to mean that if I have writer’s block on a post such as this, I can just grin away and inspiration and creativity will come to me. Or I’ll just bite my nails for a while. Oh, even if you’re not feeling overly joyful, pasting a fake smile on actually tricks your brain, so you get some health benefits anyway. I’ll wait while you try it.
Did it work?
This post is part of a bloggers’ challenge. If you want to participate, just write a post between May 13-19 about a women’s health issue that is meaningful to you, then click on the picture below to link it up. Please feel free to leave your link in our comment section below too!
And smile! Or frown and stand on your head. Either way you’ll get healthier! And you do know that exercise makes you happier, right?
What makes you laugh out loud? Smile quietly to yourself?
The link via “glasses” is to our affiliate Warby Parker. If you buy something (please do), we make enough money for some lens cleaner.
By the time we finished testing out the new equipment, we had used every muscle and every verb available. We climbed, pulled, bounced, jumped, shook, hauled (mostly our tired butts) and ker-splatted our way to equipment enlightenment. Or to the water fountain. Either way.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJY72n6WiM4&feature=plcp&context=C4519935VDvjVQa1PpcFPajXWkzgLidQi1pwAgO02WX4t5nNoVFPg%3D[/youtube]
These are the machines we tried:
None of these companies sponsors us in any way; we just thought they looked like fun and wanted to share them with you.
Alexandra’s favorite was clearly the BallBike – the video only shows a few seconds of her
having a ball, drawing an admiring crowd, testing out the equipment as a professional should!
Which piece of equipment looks the most fun to you?
Alexandra Williams, MA
In systems theory (my type of counseling) we believe that no one operates in isolation; what one person does affects the next. We should probably call it “ripple theory.” This week I’ve seen a very sad example of these ripples. A friend of my niece’s died this week. She was only 19. She was also a twin.
A lot of people are devastated. As a friend of mine said, “This is a special kind of hell.” As a twin and a mom, I cannot fathom the amount of despair that her family feels, especially her twin, whose identity is now changed forever.
Why am I writing all this on a blog about healthy living? Because I believe that all of us have a responsibility to reach out to those who have fallen out of health, both physical and mental. You do not need to have special training to be kind, smile at others, share a hug, or just listen.
I was quoted in an article the other day as saying the one thing I always bring with me to class is a smile. This is intentional. I work with college students and people in their 80s, two groups prone to stress, loneliness and depression. When I show up to class I have no way of knowing what the students had to do just to get there. I just know that they are there and that there is something they need that they’re getting from the class. Maybe all they need is to earn a credit to graduate, but maybe it’s the one time of the week they get to see a friendly face.
Please be the friendly face when you’re on your run, or in your class, or at the weight station, or working out to a DVD while your kids play in the background. Whether you believe it or not, you are a role model. Maybe you’ll only be told once in your life that you made a huge difference to someone, but since you don’t know when that once will be, try to be kind each and every day.
I’ve been hugging my kids all week long because I’m scared. Scared that I can’t keep them safe always. Scared that they’ll think the way it is in high school is the way it will always be. Scared that I can’t protect them from hurt and pain and bad accidents. But I know I’m not really supposed to do that. But what I can do is make them feel wanted.
People, go out and make someone feel wanted. As to me, I’m off to send a “love ya” text to my kids.
Actually, we’ll quickly outline our day at IHRSA for you, and you can decide if it’s something that entices you!
7:00 a.m. Arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center after a 90 minute drive from Santa Barbara. Got our press badges in time to take a 7:15 workout at the Precor booth. More footage of that in our next installment of Harold & Kumar go to White Castle (er, Kymberly and Alexandra go to IHRSA).
8:00 a.m. Listened to a wonderfully “Enchanted” keynote speech by Guy Kawasaki.
9:00 a.m. Challenged Chuck Runyon, the CEO of Anytime Fitness to a push-up match-up. If you want to know why I’m counting to 212, you’ll have to read our Patriot Push-ups post. If you want to know why we love Chuck Funyon (that’s what we call him), you’ll have to listen to our radio interview him discussing his book “Working Out Sucks.”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYgyKXrYaGg&context=C4907350ADvjVQa1PpcFPajXWkzgLidWf5uTvcgc2nNz0FnZUtWQ0=[/youtube]
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. We went up and down every single aisle of the Expo hall, checking out all the cool stuff. We were in fast forward, but not exactly as fast as in the video. And that Pavigym game floor was hysterical. For some reason, the lights wouldn’t change when I (Alexandra) pressed them – maybe because I have such a light touch!! A crowd gathered during our “testing activity phase” because we were laughing so hard. The Kangoo Jumps make me pee my pants (thanks a lot, big-headed kids of mine), but my kids loved trying this when they came to last year’s fitness convention with me. And the Queenax set-up is brillo (channeling my inner Brit). The video shows only a fraction of what can be done on the inversion rig.
6:00- 8:00p.m. We gathered up our stuff and went for dinner at a fairly bad restaurant, then drove home. We were so tired we didn’t even argue on the way home…much!
Reader Hot Flash: The people at IHRSA want fitness bloggers at this convention. Your press pass gets you into all the seminars too. Alexandra gave a presentation at the 2011 convention so she knows the topics & speakers are top-notch! And….if you don’t want to wait for a whole year to go to a great convention, check out the Blend Retreat in early May. . Much more intimate than the IHRSA convention, with lots to do. And it’s in Boulder, not smelly L.A. with the bad traffic.
Cool Flash: Anytime Fitness is giving you a 7-day free pass to try out their club. No strings attached, no push-ups required. They just gave it to us to share with you.